WGA and studios will thaw out talks that went stale for 3 months

Written by Danielle Chiriguayo, produced by Brian Hardzinski

Actor Ken Davitian joins SAG-AFTRA protesters at Netflix headquarters in Hollywood, July 27, 2023. Photo by Laura Kondourajian/KCRW

The Writers Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) are set to meet this Friday, the first time the two sides have sat down together since the writers walked out in May. 

Meanwhile, SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher says she can’t predict when the actors’ strike might end, but the union will continue to support interim agreements that allow independent productions to continue amid the strike. 

Friday will mark day 95 of the WGA strike and basically be a meeting to plan another meeting — to discuss issues that have stalled over three months. That’s according to Elaine Low, staff writer at The Ankler and author of the “Strikegeist” newsletter.

“You're essentially looking at two unions who, combined, are able to shut down production for not just the near term, but for the medium term, which will impact the mid-season. The TV schedule will impact the box office schedule through next year. We've already seen movies get delayed, things will start bumping up against each other on production schedules in 2024 If this goes on for longer,” she says. 

So far, some film releases have already been pushed to next year, including “Challengers,” director Luca Guadagnino’s latest feature starring Zendaya as a tennis star. Meanwhile, Warner Bros. is considering whether to push back scheduled releases for “Dune: Part Two,” “The Color Purple,” and “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom.” 

Low says writers, and even actors, are willing to wait out the strike. 

“They’re saying, ‘Listen, this is not unusual to not have work for a couple of months.’ And if this is what it takes, they're willing to go for as long as it takes until they get what they believe is a fair deal.”